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Biogeographic patterns of structural traits and C:N:P stoichiometry of tree twigs in China's forests.

Yao F, Chen Y, Yan Z, Li P, Han W, Fang J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: There were no significant differences in TSD between conifer, deciduous-broadleaf and evergreen-broadleaf plants, but evergreen-broadleaf plants had the lowest and conifers the highest TDMC.As latitude increased or temperature/precipitation dropped, TDMC and P increased, but N:P ratio decreased.Our results also showed that the patterns of twig P and N:P stoichiometry were consistent with those reported for leaves, but no significant trends in twig N were observed along the gradient of latitude, climate and soils.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Lab for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
There have been a number of studies on biogeographic patterns of plant leaf functional traits; however, the variations in traits of other plant organs such as twigs are rarely investigated. In this study, we sampled current-year twigs of 335 tree species from 12 forest sites across a latitudinal span of 32 degrees in China, and measured twig specific density (TSD), twig dry matter content (TDMC), and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) contents, to explore the latitudinal and environmental patterns of these twig traits. The overall mean of TSD and TDMC was 0.37 g cm(-3) and 41%, respectively; mean twig C, N and P was 472 mg g(-1), 9.8 mg g-1 and 1.15 mg g(-1), respectively, and mean N:P mass ratio was 10.6. TSD was positively correlated with TDMC which was positively associated with twig C but negatively with twig N and P. There were no significant differences in TSD between conifer, deciduous-broadleaf and evergreen-broadleaf plants, but evergreen-broadleaf plants had the lowest and conifers the highest TDMC. Conifer twigs were lowest in C, N, P and N:P, whereas deciduous-plant twigs were highest in N and P and evergreen-plant twigs were highest in C and N:P. As latitude increased or temperature/precipitation dropped, TDMC and P increased, but N:P ratio decreased. Our results also showed that the patterns of twig P and N:P stoichiometry were consistent with those reported for leaves, but no significant trends in twig N were observed along the gradient of latitude, climate and soils. This study provides the first large-scale patterns of the twig traits and will improve our understanding of the biogeochemistry of carbon and other key nutrients in forest ecosystems.

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Changes in site-averaged twig TDMC, N, P and N: P along mean annual temperature (MAT), annual precipitation (AP), soil N and soil P.(a-d) twig TDMC; (e-h) twig N; (i-l) twig P; (m-p) twig N:P. Regression lines are fit to the raw data with p<0.05. Points and error bars stand for the means and standard errors of the twig traits.
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pone.0116391.g003: Changes in site-averaged twig TDMC, N, P and N: P along mean annual temperature (MAT), annual precipitation (AP), soil N and soil P.(a-d) twig TDMC; (e-h) twig N; (i-l) twig P; (m-p) twig N:P. Regression lines are fit to the raw data with p<0.05. Points and error bars stand for the means and standard errors of the twig traits.

Mentions: Fig. 3 presented the changes in the species-pooled mean TDMC and C:N:P stoichiometry with climate (MAT and AP) and soil N and P. As MAT and AP increased, the TDMC and P decreased (with both p<0.001 for TDMC with MAT and AP; p = 0.002 and 0.01 for twig P; Fig. 3A, 3B, 3I, and 3J), while twig N:P ratio increased (with both p<0.001; Fig. 3M and 3N). Along a gradient of soil N and P, the TDMC and C:N:P stoichiometry showed an inverse pattern to those along the climatic gradient. That is, with an increase in soil N and P, TDMC and P increased (with all p<0.001; Fig. 3C, 3D, 3K, and 3L), while twig N:P ratio declined (with both p<0.001; Fig. 3O and 3P). In addition, the twig N did not exhibit a significant pattern along both gradients of climate and soil (Fig. 3E, 3F, 3G, and 3H).


Biogeographic patterns of structural traits and C:N:P stoichiometry of tree twigs in China's forests.

Yao F, Chen Y, Yan Z, Li P, Han W, Fang J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Changes in site-averaged twig TDMC, N, P and N: P along mean annual temperature (MAT), annual precipitation (AP), soil N and soil P.(a-d) twig TDMC; (e-h) twig N; (i-l) twig P; (m-p) twig N:P. Regression lines are fit to the raw data with p<0.05. Points and error bars stand for the means and standard errors of the twig traits.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4321987&req=5

pone.0116391.g003: Changes in site-averaged twig TDMC, N, P and N: P along mean annual temperature (MAT), annual precipitation (AP), soil N and soil P.(a-d) twig TDMC; (e-h) twig N; (i-l) twig P; (m-p) twig N:P. Regression lines are fit to the raw data with p<0.05. Points and error bars stand for the means and standard errors of the twig traits.
Mentions: Fig. 3 presented the changes in the species-pooled mean TDMC and C:N:P stoichiometry with climate (MAT and AP) and soil N and P. As MAT and AP increased, the TDMC and P decreased (with both p<0.001 for TDMC with MAT and AP; p = 0.002 and 0.01 for twig P; Fig. 3A, 3B, 3I, and 3J), while twig N:P ratio increased (with both p<0.001; Fig. 3M and 3N). Along a gradient of soil N and P, the TDMC and C:N:P stoichiometry showed an inverse pattern to those along the climatic gradient. That is, with an increase in soil N and P, TDMC and P increased (with all p<0.001; Fig. 3C, 3D, 3K, and 3L), while twig N:P ratio declined (with both p<0.001; Fig. 3O and 3P). In addition, the twig N did not exhibit a significant pattern along both gradients of climate and soil (Fig. 3E, 3F, 3G, and 3H).

Bottom Line: There were no significant differences in TSD between conifer, deciduous-broadleaf and evergreen-broadleaf plants, but evergreen-broadleaf plants had the lowest and conifers the highest TDMC.As latitude increased or temperature/precipitation dropped, TDMC and P increased, but N:P ratio decreased.Our results also showed that the patterns of twig P and N:P stoichiometry were consistent with those reported for leaves, but no significant trends in twig N were observed along the gradient of latitude, climate and soils.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Lab for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
There have been a number of studies on biogeographic patterns of plant leaf functional traits; however, the variations in traits of other plant organs such as twigs are rarely investigated. In this study, we sampled current-year twigs of 335 tree species from 12 forest sites across a latitudinal span of 32 degrees in China, and measured twig specific density (TSD), twig dry matter content (TDMC), and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) contents, to explore the latitudinal and environmental patterns of these twig traits. The overall mean of TSD and TDMC was 0.37 g cm(-3) and 41%, respectively; mean twig C, N and P was 472 mg g(-1), 9.8 mg g-1 and 1.15 mg g(-1), respectively, and mean N:P mass ratio was 10.6. TSD was positively correlated with TDMC which was positively associated with twig C but negatively with twig N and P. There were no significant differences in TSD between conifer, deciduous-broadleaf and evergreen-broadleaf plants, but evergreen-broadleaf plants had the lowest and conifers the highest TDMC. Conifer twigs were lowest in C, N, P and N:P, whereas deciduous-plant twigs were highest in N and P and evergreen-plant twigs were highest in C and N:P. As latitude increased or temperature/precipitation dropped, TDMC and P increased, but N:P ratio decreased. Our results also showed that the patterns of twig P and N:P stoichiometry were consistent with those reported for leaves, but no significant trends in twig N were observed along the gradient of latitude, climate and soils. This study provides the first large-scale patterns of the twig traits and will improve our understanding of the biogeochemistry of carbon and other key nutrients in forest ecosystems.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus